Radisson to expand as a powerful, globally consistent, first-class brand

Orlando, FL | March 03, 2010

As part of its Ambition 2015 plan, Carlson today unveiled a comprehensive strategy for its Radisson brand. As one of the world's leading brands, Radisson® is being positioned to deliver vibrant, contemporary and engaging hospitality characterized by the Yes I Can! service philosophy. The positioning is being supported by a series of innovations including new room concepts, new restaurant concepts and a series of new service concepts focused on the guest experience. The strategy for Radisson will entail an investment program of up to USD 1.5 billion in North America, focused on establishing flagship hotels in key U.S. cities and on upgrading the existing portfolio.

"With 422 hotels in operation and 90 in the contracted pipeline, Radisson is one of the most well-known and fastest-growing brands in the world, delivering market leading guest satisfaction and achieving superior RevPar penetration internationally," said Hubert Joly, president and CEO of Carlson. "We have crystallized the success formula for the brand, improved it and are using it as the foundation for its future development."

As part of this strategy, Carlson announced the global roll out of five new room concepts - And Relax, Naturally Cool, New York Mansion, Ocean and Urban. All of the concepts share a vibrant and contemporary design, the use of bold colors and lighting, and a comfortable feeling.

The global strategy also includes two new restaurant concepts. Filini will offer an upscale, sophisticated Italian cuisine, while rbg is a bar-and-grill concept in an inviting, contemporary setting.

The strategy also introduces a range of service concepts covering the key touch points of the guest experience including, for example, Business Class and three-hour laundry. Business Class will offer customers the best available room, breakfast, turn-down service, upgraded bathroom amenities, a daily newspaper and other amenities depending on the market.

As part of this strategy, the Radisson brand will be tiered across the upper upscale and upscale segments. Radisson Blu will be applied to the upper upscale segment and Radisson "Green" will be applied to the upscale segment. Both will share the same brand essence - vibrant, contemporary and engaging - the same style and many of the service concepts. The differentiation will primarily be location based - key location in a primary city versus a secondary market. It will typically be reflected in the level of investment that goes into the property.

The strategy will include the implementation of the brand's new global standard operating procedures, a new quality assurance program and intensive training programs. The strategy will be supported by investments in marketing, sales and distribution as part of the overall Carlson Ambition 2015 plan.

"We have seen the power of the brand internationally and the very attractive return from renovating to the new standards," Joly said. "The brand is poised for significant growth around the world and we expect to grow the portfolio to at least 600 hotels by 2015."

Media interested in getting insight into Carlson's new global vision and corporate strategy are invited to view the live webcast of Hubert Joly's opening keynote at www.carlsonhotelsmedia.com/ambition2015 at 4:30 p.m. ET. A replay of this webcast will be available starting at 8 p.m. ET, Wednesday March 3, 2010.

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